My professional goal was more blogging and although I have blogged more than I have in previous years it is not so automatic and as regular as I would like. I have a million notes and a few drafts of future blog posts but alas... teaching has gotten in the way!
I want to start my update by saying that I'm feeling so good about the way this school year is going! We surely had a bumpy start with moving and hiring and the like but we are now on a roll (or should I say roller coaster!?)
I'm eager and excited to announce that we have hired my counterpart. Please welcome Mr. Rian Turner. He comes to us from California and has eleven years teaching experience of students in kindergarten through fifth grade. I'm looking forward to collaborating with Mr. Turner and learning from him- it is always inspring to watch a good teacher teach. He has jumped in and hit the ground running! Mr. Turner is getting to know the kids and is already developing great relationships with them.
With a new teacher in the picture all of us here at the Learning Lab had to sit down and rework the schedule. If I haven't told you this in person I will write it here.... The Learning Lab schedule is like a human Rubic's Cube to me! Where is Joe Bailey-Fogarty (who can solve a rubic's cube) when you need him!!! I think we are on version 7,456, 235 of the Learning Lab Schedule but hopefully this one is pretty set. Mr. Turner and I had another task, we had to divide our caseload. In our district the model for SM1 (or resource) is 18 students on IEPs to one teacher and one Instructional assistant. At Queen Anne we have a little over 30 students who have IEPs in academics. My team analyzed our student body for a long time and in the end it came down to grade levels and ease of scheduling. Mr. Turner is taking the Fifth grade students, the Fourth grade students, half of the third grade and the kinders. On my caseload I have First and Second graders and half of third. What this really means is that those students will receive direct instruction from their case manager (Mr. Turner or Myself) or one of our fantabulous Instructional Assistants. That case manager will also write the students' IEP and help with whatever transition plans come next. Fortunately our Queen Anne Explorer Community is a tight one and we model what we teach so Mr. Turner, Ms. Lorentz, Ms. Tobi and myself collaborate, we work together, we teach all students, and we learn from each other.
Please extend a welcome to Mr. Turner. And if you have any questions we would be happy to answer and maybe even elaborate.
Happy Windy Winterish,